Suit Filed For Return Of Seized Poker Money

The payment processor company, Account Services Corporation (ASC), has filed a suit for the return of its funds taken by the US government from its Union Bank and Wells Fargo accounts. The motion has been sent to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.
In June 2009, around $13 million was seized from ASC, which was the property of over 24,000 online poker players.The suit notes, “The Wells Fargo funds were seized pursuant to a warrant, whereas the Union Bank funds were seized without a warrant in the Southern District of California.”
This, the company asserts, was a clear violation of the fourth amendment. It explains,
“Seizures of property violate the Fourth Amendment unless they are based upon probable cause and are executed pursuant to a valid search warrant. Any fleeting review of the IGBA, [Account Services’] business operations, or the nature of the funds held in the accounts would have indicated to the government that there was no reasonable basis, much less probable cause, to believe that the funds were contraband or evidence of a crime.”
Central to their case is showing poker to be a game of skill and this, they assert, is backed up by this year research conducted by Cigital and PokerStars. After analysing 103 million hands, they found that 75% of those hands did not go to a showdown and overall the best hand only won 18% of the time. Therefore the conclusion was reached that poker was a game of 88% skill and that it was the betting skill of the players which won the hand.
Furthermore, ASC is claiming it will suffer irreparable injury if the property is not returned and that the US government has already caused it irreparable injury when it unlawfully seized the funds in ASC’s Wells Fargo and Union Bank accounts. “ASC was placed in an untenable position by the government when checks, payable to individual players for whom ASC held money in trust, bounced. Furthermore, as discussed above, ASC is now exposed to demands and threats of civil suit from check cashing businesses that cashed individual players’ checks which subsequently bounced,”
Further updates to this case wii be brought as they occur.

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